tv [untitled] April 1, 2013 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT
national anthems in the very heart of moscow. bill and john are going to washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture the town of mayflower mayflower arkansas woke up to oil running through the streets again today all thanks to a pipeline that burst and flood of the town with thousands of gallons of oil devastating oil spills becoming increasingly common in america why is president obama still even considering the construction of the x.l. pipeline plus towns across pennsylvania are fighting back against corporate power all in an effort to put the power of the people back into our democracy how will these efforts in the keystone state influence the national fight to overturn citizens united and take corporate cash out of our politics and with cypresses
economy already in despair and a bailout plan in place that will only inflict more painful austerity policies on that nation what should say priest be doing right now to prevent another economic and financial breakdown. you need to know this two separate oil spills in arkansas and minnesota last week ever reignited the debate about the risks of tar sands crude oil these latest disasters are disheartening on their own right but they could be just a glimpse into what will happen. if president obama proves the keystone x.l. pipeline extension plan according to republicans in oil industry advocates the pipeline will be a boon for the economy creating thousands of jobs and lowering oil prices nationwide trans canada itself those as the pipeline will increase u.s. gas prices there is moving their way out of the gulf of mexico to refine for export and environmentalist argue that the pipelines economic impact will be minimal and
that will endanger communities and ecosystems along its path like the practices pipeline on the burst in arkansas on friday the keystone x.l. extension will transport heavy crude from canada's tar sands oil fields across a wide swath of middle america edition of producing forty to ten ten to forty five percent more greenhouse gases than regular oil heavily toxic tar sands oil is also much harder to clean up in the event of a spill supporters of the keystone project say it's safe but history raises some red flags a two thousand and eleven new york times analysis for example of federal regulatory documents estimated an average of about one hundred pipeline leaks every year just two years ago the silvertip pipeline owned and operated by exxon the same company that owns the pegasus line leaked fifteen hundred barrels of crude into the yellowstone river even scarier for the first part of the keystone pipeline keystone one suffered twelve spills over the course of just one year between two thousand
and ten and two thousand and eleven so can we really trust the oil companies when it comes to environmental safety or last week's disasters just a taste of things to come let's ask bill mckibben author environmental activist and founder of three fifty dot org and anthony swift attorney for the international program at the national resources defense council bill anthony welcome to the program both it's a pleasure to be on time and i thank you glad to have you with us a bill. and so it's time thanks bill so bill let me start with you what what's your take on the public consciousness of the you know i would call a crisis of this oil spill potential crisis as a consequence of these spills has this awakened anybody as a getting any media attention attention it's getting a lot the facebook post we put up was the largest one we've ever a million people if you bet picture of oil spewing down that sidewalk and those
people all know that the proposed keystone pipeline is ten times larger than just paid just this pipelines so multiply written you see by ten and then river of oil becomes a nag or oil this is what people in nebraska have been talking about very long time . so and think what. what was the status of the keystone x.l. pipeline was the legal regulatory you know i know they're taking they're using the fifth amendment take land on taxes of it what's going on well right now the keystone the northern route of the keystone x.l. pipeline is going through an environmental review process and i think it's important to note we're still very early on in that process the state department issued a draft environmental impact statement there were some good things in it and there were a lot of bad things in it we you know and i know bill can talk to the major climate emissions the keystone x.l. it's expected to drive industry analysts say that keystone x.l.
is the linchpin for tar sands expansion and the other side of this is if i may interrupt you there i understand when the state department issued this report that one of the contractors they relied on heavily to write the report had actually had financial ties to trans canada or the keystone pipeline or something some can do you know about that and that also has to i can't go into much detail on that but i can say this is one of the challenges in the environmental review process is of this sort and why it's so important for the public to be involved many of the companies that actually write the environmental review are companies that you know they make their living by writing environmental review process is for other oil projects i just in the so i make them bad guys it just makes them experts yes but it does kind of create a shoe where the public needs to make sure that the information is accurate and it's not slanted toward the sponsors and in this case so i interrupted you thought there you were going oh well in this case i think there are many places where the
state department environmental review written by one of these companies is clearly wrong and is counter to many of the things that even oil industry analysts say is going on with this pipeline bill can you speak to what the environmental consequences in terms of global warming and carbon in our atmosphere will be of keystone being completed. and let me give you a piece of news that just came across the wires you may not know you know our most important policy is jim hansen just announced a search in your retirement from nasa after forty two years in order to fight climate change. jimmy johnson was big guy you'll remember in two thousand and eleven if we burn everything out of those tar sands on top of what we're already burning then it's game over for the climate that's pretty strong language from a pretty smart guy i think it's some snow pretty much what you need to know. that is game over for the planet that's extraordinary what's so uniquely dangerous
anthony about tar sands or tar sea folks do need to understand this isn't just a another crude oil pipeline tar sands crude is something that most people won't recognize as crude oil it's base it's a tare thick substance it's nearly solid at room temperature in order to move it in a pipeline you have to take these light natural gas liquid toxic hydrocarbons to kind of reduce its thickness but you know that. is exactly and even still even in the dissolved form what's called diluted bit in it's still very thick seventy times thicker than conventional crude and because of that it actually creates friction which heats the pipeline so these pipelines are operating at one hundred thirty one hundred fifty degrees fahrenheit and that's associated with high risk of external corrosion and many other new risks of increased pipeline spills the other side of it is once it's spilled it behaves differently than conventional crude we learned
that in the kalamazoo spill in two thousand and ten where eight hundred thirty thousand barrels a day of tar sands crude spilled into michigan's countless river after a billion dollars in nearly three years of cleanup thirty eight miles of that river are still contaminated folks simply don't know how to handle tar sand spills yet and we haven't really advanced very far on the. i mean i would probably say that you know tar sands is the bottom of the bear barrel when it comes to climate and also when it comes to just physical crude it's almost like liquid coal bill if we're bringing liquid coal down to the gulf coast to refine it. and then we're going to be exporting the gasoline to china mexico and england first of all is my understanding of that comport with yours that that the reason why they want to extend this thing down to the out of the gulf of mexico is so that they can refine it into gasoline and export it. yes you know turning to diesel the rest of the
world. a look there's no rational argument for building this unless you're the koch brothers in which case there's a green orange you know if you're next time you have huge me schoolings air and those tar sands that are useless unless you can get it out the people in canada aren't going to let them build the pipeline to suit because they don't want this crap pouring through their country so they're counting on us to be well as van jones said the huge climate rally a few weeks ago counting on us to be chumps here and and we'll find out if we are if you want to stump you just send it home look tom in to the state department if you go to three fifty dot org right now there's an easy one for doing it we're trying with people like anthony trying to a million comments in the state department over the next fifteen days in that comment period to let him know people are watching at three fifty or anthony just the physics of this it seems to me that what's going on here. tell me if i'm
explaining this wrong there's this really crappy really dirty basically slurry coal way up north that from which a small portion relatively small compared to conventional oil a portion of diesel fuel can be extracted and they're transporting that all the way down to the gulf of mexico so that that extraction process can happen that refining and all the poison and all the waste from that refining process is going to stay right here in the united states it's going to be dumped into our air and into our storage pits or whatever and the cancer alley downwind of that part of texas and louisiana is going to get even worse and america gets no benefit from this we're not even refining the stuff in the midwest like we used to where we got the diesel fuel and gasoline is going to be put on boats and shipped overseas so the koch brothers and exxon mobil get the money we get the pollution canada gets the cash i don't see how the americans. united states wins other than a few of our billionaires wins it all in any of this what am i missing and if i
accurately characterized it i wish you we're missing something but i think that is an accurate characterization if you look at the gulf coast they're exploiting nearly three million barrels a day of refined product and that's really why canada wants to get their tar sands to the gulf coast it's a pipeline through the us not to it part of it is because the us is successfully reducing its oil consumption and canada is worried that they won't be able to keep their prices high if they only can sell to us consumer dollar in fact i mean we used to be that we manufactured things we used to export t.v. sets of washing machines and clothes and all kinds of stuff like that last year the number one export from the united states was refined petroleum products which seems to me insane you know it's just is is there is a possible is some of the exporting is being done to maintain high gasoline and diesel fuel prices here in the united states or is it having that effect well certainly i mean one of the things i tell folks is the u.s.
is actually producing more oil than we have in decades we're importing more oil from canada and yet consumers are still paying very high prices at the pump the only way to reduce how much money consumers pay for crude is by finding ways to use less of it and we're doing that with more efficient cars with more efficient buildings things of that sort we really you know it's time time to move to alternative energy sources anthony bill bill my apologies for the for the kind of flaky skype connection but it's great to have you here with us three fifty dot org thanks so much for joining us. both of you is a pleasure thank you. after the break more and more americans are fed up with the role that corporations are playing in our government and they're fighting back what has the town of a group of towns in pennsylvania done to fight back against corporate power and how will their efforts impact the national fight to overturn citizens united.
in screw news for generations corporations have used and illegitimately obtained legal personhood to prey on our commons it's only gotten worse since the court's two thousand and ten citizens united decision which allowed big business unfettered access to the american electoral process now a group of pennsylvania towns is fighting back adopting community bills of rights and passing laws that limit corporate personhood they found an ally in washington county court of common pleas president judge debbie o'dell sun ikea in a recent decision judge o'dell seneca concluded that the natural gas company range resources had no right to withhold water pollution information from the public because as a corporation it was not a person and had no one errant fourth amendment right to privacy joining us now to talk more about the judge's decision and its impact on the fight. corporate personhood is thomas lindsey attorney and executive director of the community environmental legal defense fund thomas welcome back yes thanks for having us back
on the show thanks for joining us the work you are doing is just such great work what have these pennsylvania towns been doing to fight back against corporate power . well about one hundred of those towns in pennsylvania and about another fifty across a different states in the northeast and also on the west coast have been adopting local laws that essentially assert their governing authority over things like fracking. sewage sludge disposal and corporate farming and those types of things and as you mentioned as part of those ordinances they're refusing to recognize that those corporations operating within their meanest ality is actually have certain rights including the rights of persons under the constitutional framework that we have and what's the consequence of. the consequence is that corporations use those rights every day to overturn local law making in local laws that are passed by those municipalities and they got a boost recently as you just mentioned from this president judge of
a county court in western pennsylvania which for the first time i think over one hundred years issued legal opinion a ruling in a case that corporations were not persons for purposes of the pennsylvania constitution. and and so where will that go want that simply be appealed and said at some point some federal judge will say well now we know this we can take this back to one thousand nine hundred six or for whatever but what's best about the case which was brought by a family known as the how the which family who had alleged that their water had been contaminated by gas extraction corporations using fracking techniques in western pennsylvania that the decision granting a settlement between the corporation and how which family had been sealed from public review and the pittsburgh post gazette the washrooms server to newspapers and western. actually brought suit to unseal the settlement that had been entered into with the how which is and of course the gas corporations didn't want anybody
to know how much they paid the how which is to to keep the settlement quiet turns out they paid them seven hundred fifty thousand dollars to stop information about that water contamination from fracking getting out into the public and what was fascinating to us and i think astounding to the legal community in pennsylvania elsewhere was that the gas corporations contended that the records couldn't be unsealed because they had a right to privacy under the pennsylvania constitution so they made their claim just under the state constitutional right to privacy provisions and because they did that it opened up a whole can of worms for the court because for the last hundred hundred fifty years mostly state constitutions have been used to shield corporations judge o'dell seneca has been on the court since one thousand nine hundred one actually used as an opportunity to say things like business entities are not born equally and free and independent because they were not born at all indeed the framers of our constitution could not have intended for them to be free and independent because as
the creations of the law they are always subservient to it and she also made the statement i think blew a lot of people's brains which was that the plain meaning of people is the living breathing humans in this commonwealth not business entities and so essentially for purposes of pennsylvania jurisprudence she overturned about one hundred hundred fifty years of law which is something that the communities across the state who have been working on these various issues have been doing for the last seven or eight years and this is the first time a judge has actually voiced support for that concept that corporations are not persons under the pennsylvania constitution she sounds like dolphin dogs and has said maisie so what do you do next where he is working and take this time thomas well the case may be appealed but it may not because the corporations have lost the sealed record in the first by. you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube and so because the settlement is out there there may be nothing for them to appeal over
in terms of actually getting the settlement back in the bag what we're using it for him pennsylvania is to say it's not crazy for people to say that corporations are not persons because in fact the courts are starting to crack open on the issue as well and this is a long time judge president senior judge of a county court and we're hoping to use this ruling to leverage rulings in other parts of the state to defend these community bills of rights that are being passed by these communities to say no more we're not going to allow corporations to have more rights and power than the communities in which they do business and so i think this is the beginning crack of a series of tremors that are being sent through the legal industry at least the business point of having a judge affirm what these communities have been working on for the past decade or so that's absolute stronger some of the most important legal work has been done in america right now is being done by you thomas lindsay community environmental legal defense fund cell simply l d have dot org. or right.
yet community environmental legal defense fund c.e.o. or dot org thank you tons thank you know how they screwed news last week's e.u. and i.m.f. sponsored bailout ensured that cyprus will remain in the euro zone for now but some commentators think staying in the e.u. is a mistake and a recent article for the atlantic monthly matthew o'brien argues that the bailout is just the beginning of an oncoming wave of austerity measures that will sap the strength of that island nation's biggest industry finance a depression for them anyway he warns is on its way o'brien urges cyprus to leave the euro to save itself from collapse while some sort of economic decline is all but inevitable a eurozone exit according to o'brien at least would allow cyprus the freedom to devalue its currency in exchange short term pain for long term gain so should cyprus leave the e.u. . let's ask ann leigh adjunct professor of economics and finance at new york university and author of the book what the u.s.
can learn from china and openminded guide to treating our greatest competitor as our greatest teacher and lee welcome but welcome to the program. thanks for having me thank you for joining us your thoughts on cyprus or frankly any of these eurozone countries that find themselves sort of battled right now leaving the eurozone. i would say that leaving the euro zone would be the biggest mistake for any of them including cyprus this idea of devaluation says save them is completely wrong headed because what devaluation does is it takes away the credibility of that nation's monetary system of. sorties to basically manipulate their currency for their short term gain but this basically means that all the other nations in the world community would say we don't trust you and they're not going to put their money in their system in fact with their banking system of
eighteen percent of g.d.p. today it could easily fall to zero they would have no banking sector if they decided to leave the euro and devalue their currency they have no credibility and this would be creating a much bigger depression than what they would have to suffer staying in the eurozone. and let's remember this is a country where it was a tax haven as well as a tourist destination now if they devalue surely yes they could increase the tourism by some marginal amount but because they right now mostly import everything they have they don't have many exports at all and so with all the import prices that will go straight up because if they devalue their currency everything that imports going to be much more expensive is actually going to reduce the standard of living for all their citizens immediately and will be much more painful for them to deal with that kind of hyperinflation than to take some short term wage cuts in the
meantime to to write their economy so when you also think about devaluation it's really for countries to help increase their. ports and the fact that they have no exports now means that they can't grow their way out this way and so from so many different levels that article is complete nonsense it could basically could their banking system not continue to operate on something other than a draw or whatever the you know whatever cypresses original currency was if the country was to say we're going to regain our our economic sovereignty at least you know the u.k. is arguably part of the euro zone but they have their own currency we're going to issue our own currency and but our banks you know our major industry they'll continue to operate in euro's of dollars and swiss francs and whatever they want i mean don't they have that ability. well basically if you have a bank that's going to be doing that and then not dealing with lending to their own
citizenry how are you going to get the economy to go anywhere frankly right now with broken banks they can't really extend credit and once they fix the banks by staying in the euro zone that that least they have the ability to to start lending to their local economy again if they just keep it the way it is it would basically never get them onto the right track let's remember that cyprus has been a poor country and they've enjoyed a great standard of living the last few years because they were artificially benefiting by being part of the euro zone and so now that they have overextended themselves and they need to basically you know return what they've spent then this is the short term pain but they've actually you know how long term benefits by being there i would say it's not the same as being like the u.k. i mean u.k. used to be a global empire and there are so many other reasons why it's a different case i would say that they should look more at what happened in ireland
right their banks also got ahead of themselves and then they need to restructure took short term pain but now they're back on their way to recovery and i would say that cyprus would do much better by doing the same thing. and lisa thank you so much for being with us. thanks for having me again. praise the lord bacon craze has taken americans by storm in recent years businesses are trying to satisfy our lost for those sweet strips of more killer goodness there are things from baking soda to bacon soap but nothing beats the bacon condom you heard me right j.d. foods a seattle distributor of specialty pork products has combined our two favorite things cured meats and sex into one awesome package rubbers are carefully crafted to look
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